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Progress on 'Cliff' Deal Ahead of White House Summit

DNY59 | Vetta | Getty Images

Democratic and Republican sources involved in negotiations reported some progress Friday toward a potential deal averting the "fiscal cliff" ahead of an afternoon summit at the White House between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders.

Negotiations revolve around permitting taxes to rise to Clinton-era levels on incomes above $400,000, the level in Obama's last offer to Republican House Speaker John Boehner before their negotiations fell apart earlier this month. Such a deal would also extend unemployment benefits and delay the imposition of across the board budget cuts.

There's little doubt such a proposal could garner majority support in both chambers. The challenge is figuring out how to persuade Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell not to block it and House Speaker John Boehner to put it on the House floor. Both face resistance from conservatives.

One GOP House member said such a deal is "very achievable" and, if Boehner embraces it, it would garner support of most Republican members. A Democratic Senate aide said Democrats could accept it if the tax increases were for at least 10 years, even if other elements of the deal were only temporary.

The issues will be discussed at today's meeting at the White House between Obama and bipartisan congressional leaders. (Read More: White House Summit at the Precipice of the 'Cliff')

If the leaders embrace the deal, it could be voted on by the Dec. 31 deadline for avoiding the fiscal cliff.

The House is to reconvene Sunday night.

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